Tag Archives: food

The Latest on Dairy Freedom + a SWEET Giveaway

After much research and personal evaluation recently, I have come to the decision to eliminate dairy from my diet. My energy levels have been off the charts and I am feeling great, but can I just say I desperately miss cheese and ice cream? Dairy Freedom eGuide to the rescue! You may remember Heather Crosby from the article 5 Recipes from a Fascinating Foodie! Well, for reminders or new readers, she’s the rockstar lady behind Yum Universe, and she has concocted the ultimate interactive eGuide proving that going Dairy-Free is not about limitations, but rather it is about new infinite possibilities. But…finding those possibilities require some expert help! Agreed?

A Word from Heather

“I can’t live without dairy” is one of the biggest statements that I hear from people who aren’t ready for optimal health. Well, the Dairy Freedom eGuide is just the key to proving that statement to be inaccurate to say the least. This eGuide will have you baking, making yogurts, ice creams, firm cheeses, dressings, milks and more—all dairy-free and gluten-free—with a variety of ingredients that will no doubt make the dairy aisle, well, embarrassed about its lack of creativity.

Check out the perks!

This interactive and sustainable PDF eGuide includes beautiful, step-by-step instruction for how to create:
• Non-Dairy Baking Substitutes
• Nut & Seed Cheeses/Spreads (score!)
• Desserts
• Sauces & Condiments
• Dairy-Free Milk & Yogurt

Dairy Freedom:
• A sustainable PDF guide—read it electronically, or print out selected pages and put them in a customizable YU binder with your favorite recipes and plant-based information
• The only guide of its kind to offer solutions for all the dairy voids you may be experiencing
• Includes clickable/interactive icons, info and links to help you effortlessly navigate the guide
• Full of inspiring photography, tips and adaptation/substitution suggestions
• Includes 24 YumUniverse recipes

We are so passionate about this eGuide, and we want to share the love with you awesome readers. So, riddle me this: ENTER TO WIN your very own copy of Dairy Freedom by answering this question in the comments section: “What dairy product do you think you can’t live without?” and up your chances by “liking” the YumUniverse FB page and the LOLO FB page.

P.S. Just for your own fun goodness, start following YumUniverse on Twitter to keep up with some totally awesome recipes, fitness Friday’s, and rad health tips!

Organic vs. Not Organic: That is the Question

Elena Turner, a jewelry designer mom engulfed in the world of healthy living, has given LOLO a quick guide for organic essentials to answer all of your iffy questions. As a lady who is on a budget herself, she dissects how to maximize your health at the grocery store. Plus, she gives us a peek inside her fridge and pantry! I don’t know about you, but I am printing this off for my everyday use!

Is Organic really necessary?  Automatically I think, well, of course organic!  BUT, after four plus years of exploration, I have learned there can be a lot of time and money wasted. I know this first hand and unfortunately my husband also knows how much money I have wasted on what I like to call ‘organic research.’ Don’t get me wrong. I am an organic girl through and through but I have also learned to be practical.

I absolutely LOVE food, so I made this lifestyle change simply for the reason of not binging on a spread of processed fluff!  Going through this change made me feel overwhelmed at the grocery store. I decided to go back to the root of my main question.  In this case I asked myself if I truly want to be organic then what did God put on this Earth for us to eat?  He provided us with meat, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetation, and water. Duh! There we go… if we eat that, we will most likely lose weight and have A+ on our annual physical exams.

To save time and money, we can easily be swayed to cheap quick food fixes. I look at it as this: I definitely want to buy the package of blueberries for $2.49/package instead of $4.99/package, but I know it is worth the extra $2.50 not to ingest chemicals and pesticides.  I finally made the organic switch when reading an article about cancer statistics on the rise. When a doctor prescribes medicine that costs $50, we have no problem paying money because we feel like &*^%! We want a quick fix so we can get on with our normal lives. After all, who has time to be sick? When faced with spending money preventatively everyone seems to put up arguments, debates, and strap the money down.  Believe me, I am not rich, however, I feel good health does not have a price when it comes to my family and I. As long as I know what is necessary to buy organic and what is not the total on my receipt is not too bad.

I will first start off by saying what you should not put into your system NO MATTER WHAT!

  1. NO caffeine
  2. NO artificial sweeteners
  3. NO processed foods
  4. NO NO NO high fructose corn syrup (Which is hard but do-able) it is in everything
  5. NO MSG,
  6. NO partially hydrogenated oils (also very hard but do-able)

This will give your internal organs a break and you will start to feel good instantly. Not to mention the non-bloated and skinny side effect. I know many people who cannot survive the morning without a cup of coffee. Give it a few days and your body will adjust.

*An Organic MUST on your grocery list*

Fruits with soft covering like apples, peaches, nectarines, and strawberries. Any pesticides or chemicals will ingest into the skin and then the meat of the fruit. Hard or safe coverings like a banana, pineapple, kiwi, mangoes and papaya have a barrier to protect against chemicals. With fruit like cantaloupe, you definitely need to scrub the rind because bacteria can imbed itself into the grooves. It is safe if you remember to use a citrus type wash and water.

*Fruit & Veggie Quick Tip – IN SEASON! Any fruit out of season you know it is mostly controlled by man. Rather choose a force of nature or in other words nature at its best.

Vegetables: You can take it or leave it. It is always safer to buy organic but try to remember veggies have a natural protection against bugs by some of their bitter tastes like onions, cabbage, broccoli, and asparagus. Better to buy organic when it comes to sweet bell peppers, carrots, lettuce, celery, potatoes, and cucumbers.

Meat: Okay, I should have probably moved this to number 1! If you do not accomplish anything, eating organic meat is so important for many reasons. One, eating organic meat means you are not ingesting antibiotics, hormones, or GMO’s (Human Growth Hormones). Some cattle ranchers and farmers use GMO’s to speed up the process of growth and make it attractive to consumers like us to see nice plump chickens at the counter. Two, even if you are not an animal lover, organic farmers treat their animals in ethical and humane conditions.  They are free from confined cages.  I will not get into more detail because it would take all day. If you want to get a small glimpse into this, rent the documentary Food Inc. or read the book Skinny Bitch. There are other good sources out there, but with these you will be enlightened on how unfortunately expensive it is to live a normal and healthy life.

Dairy: Vitamin D is definitely important, however, we are under the false precedent that milk is the main way to get it. You can receive more vitamin D from an orange than a glass of milk without all the unnecessary fat. Plus cows and their milk are overly mass produced! The vitamins and nutrients are almost non-existent.  As infants we have an enzyme in are digestive systems able to break down milk. As an adult we lose that, therefore, a lot of adults are lactose intolerant. The fat in milk is also made for a hefty calf, not humans. If you must buy milk, buy organic, otherwise it is filled with hormones and whatever food chemicals the mother cows has been fed.

What is in my fridge?

-fresh fish (deep sea)

-deli counter turkey or chicken

-homemade salsa & pico

-free range organic eggs

-veggies and fruits

-rice milk

-tub of spinach

-organic ground turkey

-Ezekiel breads and wraps

What is in my pantry?

-organic snacks like crackers

-Lara bars

-organic peanut butter

-organic almond butter

-organic free range chicken broth

-oats, oat bran, gluten free flour, whole wheat flour for baking

-quinoa

-brown rice

This should be a family decision and lifestyle change, not a diet. Remember, every time you make a purchase in the grocery store or market, you are voting for more of that item. The more people buying organic eventually the pricing should go down as driving out the preservative, hormone infected items will be driven out and stop being mass produced.

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SoCo Charm: Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar

South Congress in Austin, TX is one of our favorite spots for weekend outings. Not only does the area have stellar shopping and a bohemian charm but the restaurants are something to write home about. If you haven’t eaten at Perla’s Seafood & Oyster Bar, it’s time you try it out. The restaurant has a Cape Cod vibe with seating indoors or out; you are guaranteed to love the peaceful, relaxed atmosphere. The menu consists of seafood dishes you will be thinking about for days. Don’t forget to order oysters; they offer a large selection which changes with the seasons. Delicious.

Located on South Congress in Austin, TX

Macaron Heaven: Paris Brings Laduree to NYC

For quite some time, I have been receiving pictures of the macaron towers in the Maison Laduree from friends visiting Paris. They always raved about the exqusite quality of the macarons, so I leapt at the opportunity to purchase some in their brand new store on Madison Avenue. The line included many tourists who were already connoisseurs of Laduree. The person standing behind me was surprised that this is the only store in the United States and that a sit down salon is not available. It’s disappointing that Fauchon has closed down its New York location on Park Avenue which had a traditional tea and refreshments salon, but perhaps Laduree can add that in the near future.

Be warned that the line can be about one hour long. The employees were kind enough to take a gleaming silver tray of broken macarons to the people standing in line outside of the store. I heard people proclaim that it was the wonderful taste of this free macaron piece that compelled them to stay in line longer. The salon is beautifully decorated in Louis XIV style with green walls and a counter displaying their delicacies. Classic portraits also adorn the walls.

Customers are provided a menu listing the following 13 flavors: *Framboise (raspberry), Cafe, Noix de coco, *Pomme verte (green apple), *Fraise mentholee (strawberry and mint), Chocolat, Vanille, Citron (lemon), *Cassis violette (blackcurrant and violet), *Caramel a la fleur de sel (caramel with sea salt), *Petale de rose (rose petal), Fleur d’orange, and *Pistache (pistachio). I placed a star in front of my preferred flavors. Strawberry mint is an unlisted additional flavor. The patrons behind me bought an entire box of composed solely of caramel macarons. My macarons were packed in two Napoleon black boxes of 6 each. Each box costs $20 with the macarons. Two other macarons were packed in a separate bag. There is a large variety of other boxes in different shapes and colors to choose from, including the more traditional green boxes.

While Laduree may be best known for macarons, they also sell niniches which are thin cylindrical pieces of sugar candy with natural flavors such as licorice, lemon, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, and mango. My online research shows that the credit for invention of niniches goes to Raymond Auberon in 1946 at Quiberon in Bretagne who founded the confisserie La Maison d’Armorine. Apparently, the original version is configured as a lollipop.

Chocolate bars were also available at the counter, but I didn’t try them yet. I purchased the degustation set of three Laduree loose leaf teas. They were Earl Grey, Melange Laduree, and a smoky flavor called Lapsung Souchong. This actually refers to Lapsang souchong tea from Fujian province. I read that these leaves are traditionally smoke
dried which imparts a particular scent and flavor. I recommend trying the sampler pack to know if this is your cup of tea so to speak. A selection of miel (honey), confitures (compotes), and delices (jellies) is available and recommended. I chose the Delice au The Earl Grey, which is a tea flavor jelly with the perfect amount of
sweetening.

They also sell votive candles in a variety of scents which are quite expensive, in the range of up 50 to 70 dollars a piece. The candles have the white Laduree logo in front. The licorice one was the most interesting.

I’m looking forward to my next visit to Laduree!

Laduree, 864 Madison Avenue (at 71st St.), New York, NY 10021. (646) 558-3157

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Restaurant Review: Charlie’s in Malibu

The other day, some friends and I were driving around Malibu, trying to figure out where to eat a nice dinner. Thankfully, we ventured into Charlie’s! Owned by Charlie DiLorenzo, this chic restaurant and lounge is decorated to a T. A glass blown chandelier, with-it photography, neutral tones, and (drum roll, please) leopard Dolce and Gabbana dining chairs. Yes, you read that correctly. You will be enjoying your meal in D&G chairs, but no, you cannot take them home with you.

The mood is set with dim lighting, and the night we were there, live music was delivered by a girl with true talent. I am assuming at this point in the article you are probably wondering about the food. WELL, let me assure you, the grub at Charlie’s is amazing from fresh salads, such as the watermelon salad, (watermelon, feta, cucumber, arugula, and balsamic), to their delicious fish dishes, (the salmon was ta-da). Oh, and their steaks, burgers, and pasta…everything that was ordered at our table was so scrumptious. They also have one hundred and fifty wine labels, and a menu of original cocktails. Charlie herself came by the table, and she was truly a gem! She was so pleasant, and sincerely made us feel like guests in her home. When you leave, you will be offered bubblegum from a wooden box. Um, too cute! Dining at Charlie’s is definitely a wonderful experience, and I plan on going back many more times. So please, take my word for it! Eat at Charlie’s in Malibu! It is to die for.

2 Fun, Easy Reads that Have Changed My View of Eating and Beauty!

Information overload is a common theme for our everyday intake, so how do we know what to trust and what to trash? I have been on a major search for a book that would explain the art of eating well, with raw information about how our body processes foods, that would teach me how to maximize nutrient absorption and produce natural energy. I have researched so many approaches, but nothing seemed to actually guide me, and better yet, work.

I have to share with you these two literary gems that I just can’t get enough of, and they are actually (and radically) changing the way my stomach feels! In fact, they have been my current partners in crime on trips to my local Whole Foods.

Gem #1: The Inside Tract by Gerard E. Mullin, MD, and Kathie Madonna Swift, MS, RD, LDN.

Why I recommend it: This personalizes your digestive healing. It requires a short test at the beginning of the book and leads you through a detailed track to your stomach’s restoration. Confession: I am addicted to the breakfast smoothie.

Gem #2: The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder

Why I recommend it: I trust the beauty experts that have been through the battle. Kim used to struggle with breakouts, stubborn belly fat, and coarse hair until she traveled the world and discovered ancient beauty secrets. She resolved that food is the ultimate beauty product, and I couldn’t agree more. Plus, it is just super fun to read, and she administers different levels of diet changes, providing great new recipes along the way!